Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. announced at the 2017 Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) that the new clinical data demonstrated successful delivery in brain cancer patients and a reassuring safety profile for MDNA55, the company’s lead immunotherapeutic agent targeting the interleukin-4 receptor (IL-4R).
In the MDNA55 study, researchers administered MDNA55 directly into Glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumours using a technique known as Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED). CED allows precision delivery of MDNA55 at high concentrations into the tumour tissue while avoiding exposure to the rest of the body. The current Phase IIb clinical trial intends to enroll fifty-two adult patients with recurrent GBM (rGBM) at leading brain cancer centers around the US. The reviews of the first treated patients were conducted to ensure patient safety and to assess the effectiveness of the CED technique.
“Our initial analyses show a substantially higher proportion of the target tissue being covered than in previous similar trials,” said senior investigator John H. Sampson of Duke University Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery, who presented the data at CNS. “In some cases, close to one-hundred percent of the tumour and the one-centimeter margin around it (at risk for tumour spread) has been successfully covered.”
“Drug delivery to the brain has been a challenge and these initial data are a significant advance in our attempt to safely and efficiently deliver our targeted cancer immunotherapy agent MDNA55,” said Martin Bexon, head of clinical development for Medicenna. “Our initial experience has shown that it is possible to accurately deliver the volumes at high flow rates necessary for distribution of MDNA55 in and around the tumour. This was achieved with a reassuring safety profile, such that our safety committee recommended continuation of the study.” Bexon continued, “I must pay tribute to the high level of skill demonstrated by the neurosurgeons working on this study using leading edge techniques to give their patients the best possible chance of benefitting from MDNA55.”
The study was designed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients treated with MDNA55, which scrupulously targets cells expressing the IL4-R both in glioblastoma tumour cells and in immunosuppressive cells in the tumour microenvironment.
Medicenna is a clinical stage, immuno-oncology company developing Interleukin-4 Empowered Cytokine (IL4-ECs) that explicitly target the Interleukin-IV Receptor (IL4R). Unlike normal cells, the IL4R is expressed in over twenty different cancers that correspond to an annual frequency of over one-million IL4R positive cancers. The company develops and commercializes therapeutics for the treatment of the central nervous system and urological cancers.